Startups to watch

It's getting crowded on the Web 2.0 frontier, but there are still some startups that truly stand out. Business 2.0 Magazine identifies the ones most likely to strike gold in 2007.

Led by former AltaVista CEO Jim Barnett, Turn.com is offering online advertisers something many have craved for years: precise, automated ad targeting combined with a system that requires them to pay only for specific desired results.

Call it pay-per-play.

To get started, advertisers first enter the prices they're willing to pay for various results - $5 for a sales lead, say, or $50 to $60 for a completed transaction. Next, they upload their text-or graphics-based display ads. Turn's software then analyzes the ads using more than 60 variables - including content, brand strength, and keywords - and determines the right publishers to serve up the ads. Turn splits the revenue (70-30, on average) with the publisher.

Since launching in beta in November, the company has signed up more than 1,000 advertisers and cranked more than 5 million ads through its analysis engine.

Twenty-five publishers are giving the system a tryout, according to Barnett, including a few large news sites and a big social network (which he declines to name).

As for competitive threats, Google has been rumored to be working on its own version of the pay-per-play model. But Barnett says the $16 billion-a-year online ad industry is growing so fast that he doesn't worry about Turn's ability to carve out a lucrative niche: "These days marketers need to use all the targeting approaches they can find."

Tell us what you think: Will Turn's pay-per-play model succeed?

Funding: $17.5 million (Norwest Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures, Trident Capital)

Cofounders: Jim Barrett (also CEO), John Ellis (shown above)

Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.

Employees: 26

Founded: 2005

Business model: Advertising

Bragging rights: 25 million unique viewers to date; 1,000 advertisers; 20 publishers

Next up: Signing more publishers

Contact: Business2@turn.com

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25
'Wayne's World' meets the Net Why does Business 2.0 name Revision3 a startup to watch? Its popular online show, 'Diggnation,' says it all. (more) video
Tech IPOs: They're back! Tech startups are finally returning to Wall Street - and here are six that are likely to cash in. (more)
8 technologies to save the world These futuristic projects promise to make the world greener, while making entrepreneurs some green. (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.